A conversation with PTSD, with a side of Grief, in the Desert

Warrior Goddess Weekend Sedona, September 2016 with HeatherAsh Amara and Sarah Marshank Sarah Rose Marshank, HeatherAsh’s best friend is with us for the retreat. I am instantly fascinated by her and can’t wait to learn some of her knowledge. As we gather in the meeting room Saturday afternoon, I feel some anxiety enter my body and think to myself, this is going to be a powerful session, so excited! She wisps around the room talking about energy being held within the body and I find myself nodding with each point she makes. “Yep, she’s on the same page, speaking the same language, yet her techniques are foreign”. “We are going to move, dance, shake, jump, whatever you feel you need to do, just go with it, and greet whatever comes up.” She announces. There are 3 different roles you can take, observing, being with source, or moving. “Okay...not really sure how this is going to work, I’m open, lets see what happens.” The music starts and 53 women start moving, pacing, sitting, praying, all doing what they are intuitively drawn to do. I choose to walk the perimeter of the room while observing, I chuckle to myself thinking, “yep, of course you start in warrior mode”. I softly allow myself to open up and let the music in and explore what’s going on in my body. My head hurts. My hands instinctively come up and cup the back of my head as I walk. Zoning into that area, sliding my fingers over the impact site, it takes me back to my fall in 2007, where I ended up with a minor traumatic brain injury. Emotions start bubbling up and I start rubbing my head harder and harder, digging my knuckles into the injury site, urging it to release. ​The tears start to flow, and I panic. “I can’t to this...not here...I can’t do this.” The shortness of breath takes over, fight or flight kicks in and I’m done. Triggered, I turn and literally head out of the building into the blistering heat of the sun. Pacing back and forth in the desert, attempting to regain control of my breath, the conversation in my head starts. “It’s okay, It’s okay, It’s okay, you are safe.” “No I am not, I am not opening that door, it’s life threatening.” “You are safe, these women have you, you are safe.” “NO...if you peel that layer I will die. Literally die, for real, die. Too much pain.” “Okay, breathe. Lift your head to the sun, grow your roots and remember where you are and who you are with.”“You don’t understand, you are not listening, I will seriously die....like leave this planet, die” Paralyzing fear rips through my body as tears stream down my face. “Do you remember who you are here with? You came here to have these powerhouse women hold you. You love HeatherAsh. Remember HeatherAsh said Sarah is strong enough to hold her? If she can hold HeatherAsh, she can hold you.” “Sigh, I remember.......I can’t, it’s too painful.” “Okay, then why don’t we just go back in and sit in the observer’s chair? You don’t have to go there.” “Okay fine, but I”m not opening up....I’m just watching.” “Okay fine, let’s go.” I dried my tears, prayed for protection, and slowly walked back into the building. I found a chair along the wall and slowly started tapping back into the energy and healing of the session. Committed to moving some of the energy out, I found myself slipping out of my chair and sitting in the middle of the floor, allowing the women to dance around me as I stretched. I started relaxing into the music and allowing some deep breathing to come into my body. The voices of angels entered my soul, a deep base tone ran through my body as the speakers vibrated the most powerful “ohms” over and over and over and with each one, more and more emotion erupted through my soul. Waves upon waves of dizzying emotion, trauma, anger, abandonment crashed through me over and over. The ugly snot cry commenced and with it a blinding flash of fear. I came out of my body and back into my head and realized I had Sarah Rose to my right and HeatherAsh to my left, whisping around, doing their thing and holding space. Knowing my container was being held, feeling their energy tapped into mine, I let go and allowed my fear to aggressively turn into grief. So much grief; sobs and sobs of volcanic meltdown, heart wrenching pain coming from deep within my soul. Grieving loss; loss of a career, loss of relationships, loss of a child still living. My heart ached like it was physically going to break, my right hand crossed over my chest to hold the ribs in place over my heart as I was sure they were going to snap as I sobbed. I grieved for that child, those first couple of years after my head injury, her loss. How profoundly it affected her and our relationship to this day. More heart break, more sobbing, unpeeling deeper and deeper layers, praying for forgiveness and healing. Raw, ravaging, aching pain, deep breathing in between the unbelievable amount of tears, whilst pushing my chest harder with my palms praying my ribs wouldn’t break. “ooohhhmmmmm aaahhhhhh oommmmm” The pure angelic voices took over and my shredded heart started to calm. An immense sigh emerged from my soul and sheer exhaustion started slowly creeping in. My entire body throbbed in pain as I melted into the floor, allowing the vibration of the music sooth me as beautiful souls danced around me. Vibrations shifted as I drifted out of my body and allowed it to clear and heal. “oooohhhmmmm aaaaahhhhh oooommmmmm”. I slowly picked myself up off the floor, feeling drugged and hazy, and made my way outside into the sun. Lifting my face to the heat, completely open, I felt the energy of the Universe embrace my soul and permeate every inch with pure clarity....... “You are enough” “We did it...YAY...can you believe it!? And we didn’t die!” “Hmmppf...perhaps you were right....this time.” ​ Angela McPherson

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Sarah Rose Marshank, HeatherAsh Amara, Angela McPherson


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